Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Meranti Soup - Experimental Cooking

Sayur meranti is said to be Solanum americanum.  Others claim it to be S. nigrum  
The Malay name ‘meranti’ is more popularly tagged as a timber tree of Shorea genus.

I asked my Indonesian workers how to cook this leafy plant.  They replied me unanimously : ”masak lemak“, which means ’cook with coconut milk‘.  
OMG ! Is it the only way to cook it?  Is it the only way they cook everything ?

Nevertheless, I decided NOT to listen to them. 

Meranti is a small shrub with small white flowers.  The stem are more tender near to the shoots.  Older stems are harder.  So I take only the shoots and leaves, and discard most of the stems.   

First I saute some garlic, then add in some sliced chicken breast.  Stir for a while.
Add in water.   Add in all the meranti leaves and some rice wine.  Bring to boil.
Add a bit salt to taste.

The taste is in-no-way I can describe.  Its not at all similar to any other greens.  Eccentric taste !

Although meranti are reported to be poisonous, they are eaten as greens in many part of the world.   The green fruits contain high levels of solanine and solamargine, hyoscine, hyoscyamine, and many other toxic glycoalkaloids.  So, eat at your own risk !     


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